The Art of Painting Houses and Graffiti

The Bell Residence

Painting a clapboard and shingle house isn’t something you want to do too often!

I was at Home Depot this week picking up some paints and glazes to restore a trunk for a customer. While I waited for my paint to be mixed I rifled through a magazine that I had never seen before – probably because it’s a magazine for professional painters of the house type. The magazine is called “ProPainter”.

In this Fall 2013 edition I found many articles that interested me. One article was about the Historic Jelly Bean houses in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It was interesting to read how painters have to adapt to the constant high humidity, cold temperatures, and serious wind conditions when trying to paint these brightly coloured heritage homes with intricate exterior woodwork.

I learned that the new acrylic primers are as good as, if not better, than the oil primers that have been used for many years. This, of course, is important if you’re painting an entire house. We painted our 1912 clapboard house over two summers, and trust me, this isn’t something you want to do over.

As most of us know, faux finishes, which used to be a mainstay of the professional painter (I taught faux finishes for 17 years) are now only painted in special circumstances. Wallpaper is now king, and if you’ve had a look at the price of good quality wallpaper recently you’ll understand why you might want a professional to hang it for you if you’ve never done it before. However you must do your homework, and ask the right questions before you hire someone to do this for you.

There was also an article about a pilot project between Toronto’s West Queen West Business Improvement Area and Masters Academy. Apparently the streets had been plagued by graffiti including the local flower planters. The article by Agnes von Mehren goes on to say “The solution to this dilemma was Tatoowall, which not only covers up graffiti, but allows a beautiful piece of art to replace it. It was decided to make the formerly-defaced planters into a showcase by urban Canadian artists.” There is even a “QR” code on each planter so that people who own smartphones can access the artists web site directly.

I think it’s a great idea but I hope it doesn’t suffer the same fate as the garbage cans on Ada Boulevard. This beautiful street in my neighbourhood overlooks the river valley on one side and beautiful stately homes on the other. The street has always been a mecca for runners, cyclists and dog walkers. Garbage cans are placed at strategic locations for dog owners and several cans were painted with beautiful images of dogs. This did not stop the jerks with a spray can, however. Let’s hope Toronto has better luck.

If you’re interested in these kinds of topics then check out their web site:

http://www.canadiancontractor.ca/trades-2/pro-painter/pro-painter-magazines-dynamic-survey   

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